Sustainable building materials

Which biogenic resources in Denmark can be used for buildings? How do we best utilise these resources? These questions will be addressed by a team of researchers together with a range of industry associations.

Miljøstårnet ved Furnesfjorden i Brumunddal, Norge. Foto: Øyvind Holmstad
The environmental tower at the Furnesfjord in Brumunddal, Norway. Photo: Øyvind Holmstad

The project will result in a report that can inform the building industry and politicians about the possibilities for building with materials derived from natural, renewable resources. The report will also help the industry rethink how we build and highlight technical and architectural potentials in biogenic materials.

From cultivation to final building

Biogenic resources are for instance annual crops like flax or perennial crops like wood, but also includes resources in aqueous environments such as reed or seaweed. Biogenic resources sequester carbon during growth and therefore acts as a storage of carbon from atmospheric CO2. The researchers in this project hope that a broader and updated knowledge about biogenic materials can push the green transition of the building sector. Thus, the aim is to activate the entire value chain from cultivation, production of new materials to final building and materials recycling.

Rapporten er netop udkommet - du finder den her


Emil Engelund Thybring
Mobil: 61 31 97 76

Participants in the project

  • Københavns Universitet
  • Aalborg Universitet, Aarhus Universitet
  • Arkitektskolen i København
  • Træinformation
  • Dansk Skovforening
  • Træ- og Møbelindustrien under Dansk Industri.

The project is funded by


IGN participates in the project with Emil Engelund Thybring, Thomas Nord-Larsen and Niclas Scott Bentsen, who will cover the value chain from cultivation to material production.

Emil Engelund Thybring explains:

We shall investigate the availability of biogenic resources in Denmark and potentials for increasing their production. However, equally important is that we will analyse how to effectively convert these resources to building materials which can be used to make durable, healthy buildings.”

The building sector has a heavy climate footprint and is responsible for around 40 percent of the global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Moreover, most of the building materials used today are made from non-renewable resources such as sand and gravel. In this regard, wood from sustainably managed forests and other biogenic resources can play an important role. Thomas Nord-Larsen explains:

Forests can continue to deliver new resources when sustainably managed, because wood is continually formed in new trees as older trees are harvested. By not harvesting more wood than is produced in the forests, the resource will not diminish over time. In fact, the amount of wood in Danish forests is continually increasing even though wood is harvested every year for the building industry and for renewable energy."

The use of biological raw materials in construction contributes not only to the reduction of the climate burden, but also to sustainable development in general.

Niclas Scott Bentsen explains;

The UN's 17 sustainability goals focus on global development that is more equally distributed and fair and that leaves a smaller footprint. Use of renewable resources in construction can contribute to meeting the goals of responsible consumption and production (goal 12) and sustainable energy (goal 7).